AI for MWiF-Italy (Full Version)

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Cheesehead -> AI for MWiF-Italy (10/31/2005 6:40:35 PM)

Italy's early objective is to enable Germany to defeat France as early as possible with few losses.

1. Delay DOW Allies until Germany is already engaged in France
2. Put at least 4 corps, including MECH and HQ-A, in Tobruk area to tie down Wavell and enough corps to keep the BEF in France small.
3. Build all your LND as soon as possible.
4. DOW France when you can ground strike (using surprise impulse) with your 2 long range LNDs. This gives you a good chance to flip French HQs, LNDs or FTRs behind the French front lines and leaves the Germans to concentrate on breaking the line with his air power.
5. If the CW brings Wavell out of the Middle East and puts him in France DOW the CW and attack Egypt.
6. Assuming the Germans are aggressively keeping the CW busy in the Atlantic with the Kriegsmarine, Italy should attack the Royal Navy very aggressively in the Med. There is no way the CW can be strong in both places. Use the German NAV in the Med along with the Italian NAV. If the CW has a strong CV presence in the Med, the Italians should also ask for German long range (relatively speaking) FTRs such as the Me110.

This covers the first year.




Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (10/31/2005 7:07:36 PM)

Great stuff. Thanks.




c92nichj -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/1/2005 12:53:32 PM)

In addition try to evacuate East Africa and get back your INF and Supply units from there, where they are no use to you. The risk of getting your transport stuck on the wrong side of Suez makes it important to time this withdrawal.

If the french have garrisioned the Italian border poorly you might considering an attack there instead of shipping troops to Libya. You can get decent odds with Shorebombardment.
Also if you see a french or British fleet unguarded you might want to DOW to invade ontop of their fleet, might give you alot of good units.

Also always look out for a poorly defended Gibraltar and Malta if youhave a chance to take them go for it.




Greyshaft -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/1/2005 1:06:24 PM)

.
(1) Victory cities to be taken and/or defended - Suez + Gibraltar + all points in between. Stay out of Turkey.
(2) Which major powers to declare war on, when, and any associated conditions concerning same. - Britain, after France falls or in Sep/Oct '40 at the latest
(3) Which minor countries to declare war on, when, and any associated conditions concerning same. - Preference is to keep hitting Britain (Malta/Suez etc) but if that gamble doesn't pay off then take Yugoslavia & Greece in 1941.
(4) Which minor countries to align, when, and any associated conditions concerning same. Turkey
(5) Expected areas of conflict: with whom, where, type of combat (land, naval, air, convoys). -
* 39 - neutral - build major naval if desired plus ARM & FTR & NAV
* 40 - maybe France, but definitely in Africa against the British - ARM & FTR & NAV & INF & SUB
* 41 - more against the British but beware of the tide turning. - Build INF & SUB & NAV
* 42 - start preparing defensive positions. Redeploy Fleet to react to enemy AMPH
* 43 - Be prepared to sacrifice your fllet to stop enemy invasions. If you can destroy the first landing you will set their schedule back by six months.
* 44/45 - What? You're still alive? Amazing! Hunker down and make him pay for every footstep. Build INF.

(6) A master production plan by unit type and/or gearing limits. This does not have to be detailed, just a broad outline. - I'll do that in another post
(7) A time line for the strategic planís major milestones. -
My idea for Italy is to play like a Jackal. Pounce on the weak and retreat from the strong. Another image is working like one of those 1920's fire engine ladder trucks with Germany steering the main engine while Italy sits out the back at the end of the ladder with a bit of room to steer left and right but generally following in Adolf's footsteps. In practical terms it means:
* avoiding combat with the French Navy. If Germany is going well then maybe don't DOW until France falls and you only have to face the British. Generally the French know they are doomed and are willing to trade two of their battleships for one of Italys. Don't take the trade!
* alternatively, if you a facing a Commonwealth who has HEAVILY committed land forces to defending France (2-3 land units + 3-4 air units on the continent) then take a hard look at Gibraltar, Malta and Suez. He's got to be weak somewhere and if you can seize one of those points then an early DOW could be worth the risk.
* avoid attrition. If the French want to patrol the central med and deny you some PP then let them. Much better to lose a resource than a 12 PP battleship.
* aim for short term strategies and focus EVERYTHING on that goal. While you are on the offensive in 41/42 it is unlikely that the Allies can mount a counterattack (unless you do something really dumb like leave a major port ungarrisoned).
* Lay down carriers and new battleships in '39/early 40 or not at all. Since it takes those units 2 years to get operational then there's no point leaving it any longer. Most of your potential conquests can be taken with the existing Italian Fleet plus airpower. Unless you and Germany have agreed on a plot to lay down lots of naval in '39 and panic the CW into spending so much on his fleet that he has no land or air to hold in France or the Med.
* Keep you eye out for when the game turns. Once the Allies can threaten you then leave the surprises to Adolf and concentrate on making the Med a backwater. If you aren't threatening the Allies in the Med then they'll send most of their forces against Germany. Let Adolf deal with them. A classic Allied mistake is to be so involved in Germany that they can't finish off the conquest of Italy.
* When on the defensive then build maximum ground units with fighter support.
* do a deal with Adolf that if he helps you take Malta then you'll give him ground units to garrison France. He'll want them in Russia, but only promise France.
* once you have taken Malta then persuade Adolf that Suez is the next logical step :)




c92nichj -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/1/2005 1:27:46 PM)

quote:

(4) Which minor countries to align, when, and any associated conditions concerning same.

This questions is one of the major thing for Italy. You will need a second home when Italy is conquered, Albania is there but will fall quite quickly which means that you need somewhere else to live. options are quite limited, Iraq and Yugoslavia are the most obvious choices. Yugoslavia being the best option.
Do everything you can to convince Germany to have a balcan strategy that makes Yugoslavia an italian minor. If Germany is aiming for an early barbarossa this might be a hard sell since it might mean that he cannot start the offensive from Rumania.
But in any other axis strategy this can probably be achieved.
With Yugoslavia as a minor you have a good chance of seeing the end of the game without it you're probably toast by early '44.
quote:

(4) Which minor countries to align, when, and any associated conditions concerning same.




rotor911 -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/1/2005 1:45:03 PM)

As an alternative, I liked [:(] to wait for France to be nearly gone then dow only Cw. I saw no use to fight French ships which may well be Vichy next turn. Also, if Free France wanted to help the UK in Mediterranea later, they had to dow Italy themselves at an Us entry cost...




Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/1/2005 6:11:04 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Greyshaft.
(1) Victory cities to be taken and/or defended - Suez + Gibraltar + all points in between. Stay out of Turkey.
(2) Which major powers to declare war on, when, and any associated conditions concerning same. - Britain, after France falls or in Sep/Oct '40 at the latest
(3) Which minor countries to declare war on, when, and any associated conditions concerning same. - Preference is to keep hitting Britain (Malta/Suez etc) but if that gamble doesn't pay off then take Yugoslavia & Greece in 1941.
(4) Which minor countries to align, when, and any associated conditions concerning same. Turkey
(5) Expected areas of conflict: with whom, where, type of combat (land, naval, air, convoys). -
* 39 - neutral - build major naval if desired plus ARM & FTR & NAV
* 40 - maybe France, but definitely in Africa against the British - ARM & FTR & NAV & INF & SUB
* 41 - more against the British but beware of the tide turning. - Build INF & SUB & NAV
* 42 - start preparing defensive positions. Redeploy Fleet to react to enemy AMPH
* 43 - Be prepared to sacrifice your fllet to stop enemy invasions. If you can destroy the first landing you will set their schedule back by six months.
* 44/45 - What? You're still alive? Amazing! Hunker down and make him pay for every footstep. Build INF.

(6) A master production plan by unit type and/or gearing limits. This does not have to be detailed, just a broad outline. - I'll do that in another post
(7) A time line for the strategic planís major milestones. -
My idea for Italy is to play like a Jackal. Pounce on the weak and retreat from the strong. Another image is working like one of those 1920's fire engine ladder trucks with Germany steering the main engine while Italy sits out the back at the end of the ladder with a bit of room to steer left and right but generally following in Adolf's footsteps. In practical terms it means:
* avoiding combat with the French Navy. If Germany is going well then maybe don't DOW until France falls and you only have to face the British. Generally the French know they are doomed and are willing to trade two of their battleships for one of Italys. Don't take the trade!
* alternatively, if you a facing a Commonwealth who has HEAVILY committed land forces to defending France (2-3 land units + 3-4 air units on the continent) then take a hard look at Gibraltar, Malta and Suez. He's got to be weak somewhere and if you can seize one of those points then an early DOW could be worth the risk.
* avoid attrition. If the French want to patrol the central med and deny you some PP then let them. Much better to lose a resource than a 12 PP battleship.
* aim for short term strategies and focus EVERYTHING on that goal. While you are on the offensive in 41/42 it is unlikely that the Allies can mount a counterattack (unless you do something really dumb like leave a major port ungarrisoned).
* Lay down carriers and new battleships in '39/early 40 or not at all. Since it takes those units 2 years to get operational then there's no point leaving it any longer. Most of your potential conquests can be taken with the existing Italian Fleet plus airpower. Unless you and Germany have agreed on a plot to lay down lots of naval in '39 and panic the CW into spending so much on his fleet that he has no land or air to hold in France or the Med.
* Keep you eye out for when the game turns. Once the Allies can threaten you then leave the surprises to Adolf and concentrate on making the Med a backwater. If you aren't threatening the Allies in the Med then they'll send most of their forces against Germany. Let Adolf deal with them. A classic Allied mistake is to be so involved in Germany that they can't finish off the conquest of Italy.
* When on the defensive then build maximum ground units with fighter support.
* do a deal with Adolf that if he helps you take Malta then you'll give him ground units to garrison France. He'll want them in Russia, but only promise France.
* once you have taken Malta then persuade Adolf that Suez is the next logical step :)


This is all quite lovely. Once I get a dozen or so of these (strategic plans) in hand, I'll try to give them more structure. That will help identify any missing bits.

Thank you all. Every morsel helps.




Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/1/2005 6:15:53 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rotor
As an alternative, I liked [:(] to wait for France to be nearly gone then dow only Cw. I saw no use to fight French ships which may well be Vichy next turn. Also, if Free France wanted to help the UK in Mediterranea later, they had to dow Italy themselves at an Us entry cost...


Alternatives are great. I don't want the AIO to be completely predictable every time it plays a major power. There is a fine line here, I want the AIO to make any obvious moves (those that produce excellent results) and never make stupid ones. Within the range defined by those boundaries, I want to favor better moves over weaker ones, but use a random number generator to decide each action yea or nay.




verbal -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/8/2005 1:57:36 PM)

The italian AI will need to take major hints from the german AI. However, I'd suggest that grayshaft's timeline is mostly the 'historical' timeline. The german AI will need to have some categories of attack, and italy's plans go along with that.

For instance; If the start of war plan is for germany to roll into spain through france, then italy needs to put considerable resources into various med closing strategies (taking the suez, taking bits of north africa) and can downplay the importance of taking malta, for example.





SeaMonkey -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/10/2005 7:29:59 AM)

I'd like to chime in here with some possible alternative strategies for German/Italian cooperation in the Med region.

One, codenamed Operation Sphinx, presented by Eric Raeder to Hitler invisioned a joint operation with Spain to take Gibraltar and close the western Med approach. This was previously suggested in the German AIO.

The operation continued with a blockade, softening by air strikes, of Malta with the eventual amphib/para operation to occupy the island.

Finally the coup de grace was the capture of the Suez, opening the gateway for further maneuver into the Mideast and capture of oil supplies.

The idea coupled with a protracted uboat blockade of the British Isles was suppose to stretch the UK resources and eventually allow for an armistice in the face of futile continued hostilities with Germany (no USA or USSR entry).

Now obviously there are further ramifications should the Axis AI pressure Turkey for an alliance on the eve of Barbarossa, threatening the USSR from the south(Iraq) as well as the west.

One other alternative extension of this scenario is the completion of Operation Orient, which was the eventual meeting of Axis(Japan/Germany) forces in the Indian-Pakistani area.

Food for thought.[;)]




Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/10/2005 8:17:23 AM)

Thanks. All useable.




Neilster -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (6/9/2006 11:13:05 AM)

Bump. I didn't want this to fall off the end of the thread list and it might be handy to make it more visible for newcomers to read.

Cheers, Neilster




trees trees -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (6/9/2006 8:35:50 PM)

Germany's favorite units in Barbarossa are Italian airplanes.

Limited Overseas Supply optional changes Italian tactical naval play considerably.




composer99 -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (6/13/2006 8:45:54 AM)

quote:

Germany's favorite units in Barbarossa are Italian airplanes.

Limited Overseas Supply optional changes Italian tactical naval play considerably.


There was some discussion on the WiF mailing list about the 1942 Barbarossa campaign, and how a properly sized (large) Italian air force can be crucial in determining the success of the campaign (one writer shared an anecdote about how the Russian player decided that the most critical enemy unit he faced was Balbo, and if he couldn't flip Balbo he would run away from him). Presumably, a solid contribution by the Italians can make a difference in a 41 Barb as well.




c92nichj -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (6/13/2006 7:40:34 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

quote:

Germany's favorite units in Barbarossa are Italian airplanes.

Limited Overseas Supply optional changes Italian tactical naval play considerably.


There was some discussion on the WiF mailing list about the 1942 Barbarossa campaign, and how a properly sized (large) Italian air force can be crucial in determining the success of the campaign (one writer shared an anecdote about how the Russian player decided that the most critical enemy unit he faced was Balbo, and if he couldn't flip Balbo he would run away from him). Presumably, a solid contribution by the Italians can make a difference in a 41 Barb as well.


Couldn't agree more. With three italian bombers and two italian fighters in Russia combined with Balbo you get a significant edge over the russians in '41. An even larger italian airforce in '42 will be crucial if you want to win against a competent opponent.




Neilster -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/22/2006 7:45:18 AM)

Falling off the end of the list. Time to bump it for the new people.

Cheers, Neilster




Arron69 -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/22/2006 3:07:21 PM)

The Italian AIO sould also be able to pressure the German AIO for resources and oil. Without the help the Italians are doomed, so a "I help you for your help" or "I cant help you becource of you lack of support" thinking is maybe an idea. Historically hitler did not like the Italian invasion of Greece.




Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/22/2006 6:37:38 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Graf Zeppelin

The Italian AIO sould also be able to pressure the German AIO for resources and oil. Without the help the Italians are doomed, so a "I help you for your help" or "I cant help you becource of you lack of support" thinking is maybe an idea. Historically hitler did not like the Italian invation of Greece.

The interaction between AIO's for different major powers is still loosely defined. Each major power AIO will make decisions 'independently', but I do expect to make their cooperation very strong - perhaps even enthusiastic. Towards that end, there will be an AIO "team leader" with a definite flavor of master-slaves relationship.




trees -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/30/2006 3:11:45 AM)

Lately I've been thinking that a prime directive for Italy is to try and take Algeria. If it ends up Vichy that is nearly as good for the Allies as Free French. But if Italy conquers it is theirs to keep and use for their perimeter defense in the midgame. Plus it comes with a resource. So it remains true that one doesn't want the Italian navy to take pointless exchanges with the French navy but I think some risk is worthwhile if there is a good chance of taking it.

Plus I've really grown to like the Italian 'Stuka' the LND-2 they start with but without a Pilot in. It's as good as an extra INF corps if trying to break into the French Alps on the surprise impulse. Later it is good to help protect the Italian CPs from CW SUB raids.




Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/30/2006 3:15:38 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: trees

Lately I've been thinking that a prime directive for Italy is to try and take Algeria. If it ends up Vichy that is nearly as good for the Allies as Free French. But if Italy conquers it is theirs to keep and use for their perimeter defense in the midgame. Plus it comes with a resource. So it remains true that one doesn't want the Italian navy to take pointless exchanges with the French navy but I think some risk is worthwhile if there is a good chance of taking it.

Plus I've really grown to like the Italian 'Stuka' the LND-2 they start with but without a Pilot in. It's as good as an extra INF corps if trying to break into the French Alps on the surprise impulse. Later it is good to help protect the Italian CPs from CW SUB raids.

I am working on French builds at the moment - Strategic Plan for France. Next is China. Third in my list is Italy.




lomyrin -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/30/2006 4:09:46 AM)

IF the CW sends out a large naval force with carriers into the Med then Italy would have to make a choice of accepting the surprise port strike likely to follow or DoW the CW to preempt this surprise. Whether to also DoW France at the same time or not depends on the situation.

This scenario is pretty likely ifthe CW sets up most of their fleet in Gibraltar.

Lars  




trees -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/30/2006 4:39:30 AM)

then the Italians can have fun trying to take out a CV with the Frogmen, though they are now less dangerous anything can happen on a suprise impulse.

If the CW wants to risk 1939 US Entry chits I let them. Odds are I'll lose one TRS and get the other damaged. Or maybe not. And then maybe the CW will wish they had more air cover for the TRS that just unloaded the BEF.




Froonp -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/30/2006 7:34:50 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: trees
Lately I've been thinking that a prime directive for Italy is to try and take Algeria. If it ends up Vichy that is nearly as good for the Allies as Free French. But if Italy conquers it is theirs to keep and use for their perimeter defense in the midgame. Plus it comes with a resource. So it remains true that one doesn't want the Italian navy to take pointless exchanges with the French navy but I think some risk is worthwhile if there is a good chance of taking it.

Same for me.




Froonp -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/30/2006 7:38:32 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: lomyrin

IF the CW sends out a large naval force with carriers into the Med then Italy would have to make a choice of accepting the†surprise port strike likely to follow or DoW the CW to preempt this surprise. Whether to also DoW France at the same time or not depends on the situation.

This scenario is pretty likely ifthe CW sets up most of their fleet in Gibraltar.
Lars††

If Italy has no plans for using her TRS to invade, they should keep them in separate ports that are not reachable for port attacking carrier planes from both Med Sea Areas. They should not be alone, 3 other ships should be with them.

Also, in the early game, Italy's TRS should be busy transporting back the Africa / Italy, the INF and Supply that are in Italian East Africa. Without an HQ the later is useless, and without supply, the former is too.




CBoehm -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/30/2006 8:29:17 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

quote:

ORIGINAL: trees
Lately I've been thinking that a prime directive for Italy is to try and take Algeria. If it ends up Vichy that is nearly as good for the Allies as Free French. But if Italy conquers it is theirs to keep and use for their perimeter defense in the midgame. Plus it comes with a resource. So it remains true that one doesn't want the Italian navy to take pointless exchanges with the French navy but I think some risk is worthwhile if there is a good chance of taking it.

Same for me.


I agree - which I why I would also say its a prime objective to protect with the CW ...




trees -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/30/2006 9:15:42 PM)

I wouldn't send the TRS to East Africa though, if the CW is willing to declare war they can just do it when one is on the far side of Suez, effectively eliminating it without a die roll. I would just write off the supply unit and junk INF, especially the latter. If you sense the CW won't declare war I might go get the supply unit, but maybe not...




SamuraiProgrmmr -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (11/30/2006 9:27:49 PM)

That actually happened to me once.  But I actually survived it.  It was very lucky rolls on the dice that made the difference though.

However, if Germany is planning an early SeaLion, this can draw the British focus to NE Africa before they are ready.




hakon -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (12/1/2006 6:51:31 PM)

If Germany is not going for a Med campain, I dont think Italy should, either.

My strat with italy, usually goes like this:
39 : neutral, build 2 pilots
40 : dow france only (unless you can get malta) and help help germany with your air force, build mostly pilots and fighter, 1 atr, lnd2 (!) and nothing else. Bring all land forces home to italy.
41 : Send ALL aircraft to the eastern front, except perhaps 1-2 navs, help germany maintain total air superiority in the USSR. Take air impulses almost every impulse. Bring Balbo to the east, and station Graziani in france (to be able to call blitz, if the UK lands there.). Let germany provide stationary air cover over western europe, so he can use most of his air missions to fly those stukas. Build all fighters and atr(ATR are extremely versatile units on the easter front, being able to paradrop, rebase PARA/MTN into the caucasus or reorg the best fighters), then begin to build navs and some garrison type units in the autumn. Bombers are not really necessary, except of course the stuka. Have italy liberate estonia, latvia or lithuania, if possible.
42-43 : Continue to support germany as much as possible in the east, while building an invasion defense in italy, concentrating on both naval air and ground units. Have germany garrison northern italy with his garrs and mil, so that even after italy falls, but dont let this happen easily. Garrison italy A LOT more heavily than france, to make it less tempting to invade there. Continue to build out your fighter and atr force pools, and pump out navs, mil, gar and possibly some bombers.
44-45 : I have no experience of this period, since this strategy has resulted in total russian collapse (conquest of russia, linking up with japan, etc) every time i tried it, followed by allied surrender. Should the USSR survive in good shape, the end game might be tough. The most important part, is to lure the allies into invading France before Italy. If they do, you can possibly survive the war by building land units, otherwise you may want to evacuate, and let germany hold northern Italy.




Shannon V. OKeets -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (12/1/2006 7:00:53 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: hakon
If Germany is not going for a Med campain, I dont think Italy should, either.

My strat with italy, usually goes like this:
39 : neutral, build 2 pilots
40 : dow france only (unless you can get malta) and help help germany with your air force, build mostly pilots and fighter, 1 atr, lnd2 (!) and nothing else. Bring all land forces home to italy.
41 : Send†ALL aircraft to the eastern front, except perhaps 1-2 navs, help germany maintain total air superiority in the USSR. Take air impulses almost every impulse. Bring Balbo to the east, and station Graziani in france (to be able to call blitz, if the UK lands there.). Let germany provide stationary air cover over western europe, so he can use most of his air missions to fly those stukas. Build all fighters and atr(ATR are extremely versatile units on the easter front, being able to paradrop, rebase PARA/MTN into the caucasus or reorg the best fighters), then begin to build navs and some garrison type units in the autumn. Bombers are not really necessary, except of course the stuka. Have italy liberate estonia, latvia or lithuania, if possible.
42-43 : Continue to support germany as much as possible in the east, while building an invasion defense in italy, concentrating on both naval air and ground units. Have germany garrison northern italy with his garrs and mil, so that even after italy falls, but dont let this happen easily. Garrison italy A LOT more heavily than france, to make it less tempting to invade there. Continue to build out your fighter and†atr†force pools, and pump out navs, mil, gar and possibly some bombers.
44-45 : I have no experience of this period, since this strategy has resulted in total russian collapse (conquest of russia, linking up with japan, etc)†every time i tried it, followed by allied surrender. Should the USSR survive in good shape, the end game might be tough. The most important part, is to lure the allies into invading France before Italy. If they do, you can possibly survive the war by building land units, otherwise you may want to evacuate, and let germany hold northern Italy.

Why do you want Italy to conquer the Baltic States?




sajbalk -> RE: AI for MWiF-Italy (12/1/2006 7:27:17 PM)

Italy would liberate the Baltic states so that it could use those countries as a new home country in the event that Italy falls. This is best dealt with in a convention or home setting by threatening to throttle the Italian player, but on the computer that would be more difficult.

A similar situation would arise where the USSR takes Bulgaria and Italy liberates it.





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